Starting points

First, a bit about this blog.

Like the title says, it’s about women, and about the lives they live. Not famous women, necessarily, or spectacular women, but ordinary women, like you and me, and like your mother, sister, daughter, neighbor, colleague, teacher, student, friend….

It’s also about the pieces that go together to make a life, and how each of us chooses to arrange them. Pieces like love, family, money and health. Work and marriage.  Children (or not). Your past. Your future. Your self-esteem. Sex. Faith. Education. Loss. Etc .

Imagine sitting down to make a list of all the elements of your life that are jostling for time and space and attention, both inside and outside of you. Imagine taking the time to think about how all these pieces fit together, and how they have come to be arranged in the way that they are. (Imagine you had the time to do that – it’s a stretch, I know, but bear with me…)

Now imagine that lots of women you know and even more that you don’t all made their own lists. Imagine getting the chance to look at their lists, and hear them talk about why their lists look the way they do. If you like the sound of that, stick around.  Because that is what I hope to do with this blog.

Next, a bit about me.

Let me tell you first of all what I am not. I am not a psychologist or sociologist or any other kind of -ologist who would be qualified to counsel people or give advice.  So I will not attempt to do those things on this blog.

What I am is a woman, like most others, with a few pieces to my life.  For example, my life includes two children, one husband, a chronic illness (Crohn’s – his), a career path (mine) through law, technical writing and other detours,  aging in-laws, three divorced parents (one deceased and one I have not seen since I was five), a large, extended Danish-immigrant family, a more or less regular jogging-and-pilates exercise habit, a dream (that is far away from realization) of one day writing novels that someone will publish, and an upcoming move half way across the country.

I also have friends and acquaintances whose lives include some pieces that are similar to mine and other pieces that my life doesn’t have. Some have fought illness. Others have left established career paths to launch their own businesses. Still others struggle with parenting issues or family problems or making ends meet. All have developed their own unique way of incorporating life experience, whatever it is, and moving forward.

And I have a tendency to ponder – in a layman sort of way and probably more often than I should – why peoples’ lives turn out the way they do, and to marvel at the variety of strategies that people find for working around obstacles, navigating turbulence, and creating meaning. All of which have led me to start this blog.

Finally, a bit about how this will work.

I have found that it doesn’t take a hero or a saint to teach me something I can use in my life, something to help orient me, or make me more grounded, or remind me of my priorities. Sometimes, all it takes is a glimpse into someone else’s life.

So, in addition to sharing some of my own thoughts and experiences, I propose to use this blog to present the stories of ordinary women, as they choose to tell them. Through conversations, interviews, or whatever means works, I will try to collect different women’s perspectives on their own lives, or parts of their lives, and share them here (always with their permission, of course).

Initially, many of the stories presented will be family, friends or acquaintances of mine, women who are already known to me to a greater or lesser degree. Over time, however, I hope to enlarge the circle of women whose stories are shared to include women I don’t yet know, but whom I may come to know through writing this blog, or simply by living life .

Every one of us has a story.  I invite you to tune in to hear a few of them.

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